tv [untitled] October 21, 2014 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
rent alley sanctionly turning those residential units that should have been homes to real people into hotels for tourists. this filed in april dbi finally held a hearing in june three months later, and then sat on that and did not make any determination until end of september. now, keep in mind one of the landlord even admitted they were doing a full-time short-term rental and yet after six months of hard work by our tenants union nothing came of any of those four case which is why we fought so aggressively that if we're not going to do 90 days hosted or nonhosted that we would at minimum have this expedited private right of action by organizations in san francisco that have for decades fought on behalf of our residents and tenants to make sure their housing stock is used in the way that is most appropriate. but i will make one final plug because i do think supervisor avalos is strong early than the amendment i introduced last week, but at minimum i'm glad
that we will have the private right of action included in the final legislation. >> thank you. president chiu, were you on the roster? okay. supervisor breed. >> thank you. supervisor kim, through the chair, i just wanted to make it clear that in my comments i also mentioned that i spoke with both the treasurer cisneros and the city attorney's office so my comments included information from the memo as well as information in discussing this particular legislation or a possible amendment to collect tax -- back taxes with him. and that's why i mentioned that he clearly -- he made it clear to me that he does not need legislation to do his job. so, i just wanted to make sure that that was clear. thank you. >> thank you, colleague. any further discussion on these amendments? okay. why don't we take them one at a time. the first amendment was by supervisor avalos for a 90-day
cap on hosted rentals, seconded by supervisor campos. madam clerk could you call the roll? >> supervisor chiu? chiu no. supervisor cohen? cohen no. supervisor farrell? >> no. >> farrell no. supervisor kim? >> aye. >> kim aye. supervisor mar? >> aye. >> mar aye. supervisor tang? tang no. supervisor wiener? wiener no. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos? avalos aye. supervisor breed? breed no. supervisor campos? campos aye. there are five aye and 6 no's. >> the amendment fails. [gavel] >> and on supervisor campos' -- (applause) >> supervisor campos' amendment regarding back taxes, seconded by supervisor avalos. madam clerk, could you call the roll? supervisor chiu? exhaust no. supervisor cohen? cohen no. supervisor farrell? farrell no. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar aye. supervisor tang? tang no.
supervisor wiener? wiener no. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos? avalos aye. supervisor breed? breed no. supervisor campos? campos aye. there are five ayes and 6 no's. >> that amendment fails. [gavel] >> and supervisor yee? >> yes, so, i want to just reintroduce the amendment i tried to get passed a few weeks ago. so, i won't argue about it [speaker not understood]. the amendment is just asking for additional requirements for rh1d districts, one family detached dwellings that is. following shall apply to short height and bulk term residential rental users located within areas of zone rr1d ~. and the residential unit and any portion thereof may be rented as a short-term
residential rental for no more than 90 days per total per calendar year. the permitted resident must maintain residence in the residential unit during any short-termes are decksv rental. ~ permanent and no more than 50% of the bedrooms in the residential unit may be used for the exclusive occupancy of the short-term residential renters user. so, that's my amendment that i'd like to ask that you support. >> supervisor yee has made the amendment as he described. is there a second to that amendment? seconded by supervisor mar. any discussion? roll call vote. >> supervisor chiu? chiu no. supervisor cohen? cohen no. supervisor farrell? farrell no. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar aye. supervisor tang? tang no. supervisor wiener? wiener no. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos?
avalos aye. supervisor breed? breed no. supervisor campos? campos aye. there are five ayes and 6 no's. >> amendment fails. [gavel] >> colleagues, with that, any further discussion? okay, at this time, madam clerk, could you please call the roll for whether this ordinance shall be finally passed. >> on item 9, supervisor chiu? chiu aye. supervisor cohen? cohen aye. supervisor farrell? farrell aye. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar no. supervisor tang? tang aye. supervisor wiener? wiener aye. supervisor yee? yee no. supervisor avalos? >> n-o. >> avalos no. supervisor breed? breed aye. supervisor campos? campos no. there are 7 ayes and 4 no'ses. >> this ordinance is finally passed. [gavel] [cheering and applauding]
>> thank you, colleagues. with that, why don't we proceed to item 10. >> item 10 is an ordinance to amend the business and tax regulations code by revising and clarifying common administrative provisions for the business registration for the payroll expense and gross receipts tax and deleting obsolete provisions. >> roll call vote. >> on item 10, supervisor chiu? chiu aye. supervisor cohen? cohen aye. supervisor farrell? farrell aye. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar aye. supervisor tang? tang aye. supervisor wiener? supervisor wiener? wiener aye. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos? avalos aye.
supervisor breed? breed aye. supervisor campos? campos aye. there are 11 ayes. >> the ordinance is passed on first reading. [gavel] >> item 11. >> item 11 an ordinance to amend the administrative and subdivision codes ~ regarding tenant buyout agreements. >> supervisor campos? >> thank you. thank you very much, mr. president. colleagues, i'm very honored today to be the chief sponsor of this legislation that was actually the brain child of someone that i know we will be remembering today and honoring today, and that is the late and great ted galokson. i believe this is the last piece of ted gal acson inspired
legislation of the san francisco board of supervisors. ~ my office and i and i want to thank hillary rhonan in my office, had been working with ted gal acson for many months to develop this legislation ~. i know that it was something that was very important to him. i'm sure that he directly spoke to many of you about this legislation. and today i hope that you will join me in passing this legislation and allowing ted to make one of his last great marks on this city and had i endless quest to protect tenants in san francisco. despite so much discussion and attention on san francisco's affordability housing crisis, the truth of the matter is we have no idea about the true scope of displacement in san francisco because tenant buyouts are not regulated by the city in any form. buyouts are when a landlord offers a tenant a monetary sum
in exchange for the tenant vacating the unit outside of the eviction process. buyouts are in essence a loophole and are just cause eviction loss. under san francisco's rent control ordinance, a landlord must have one of the 15 just cause reasons for evicting a tenant. some of the just causes are based on the actionses of a tenant like failure to pay rent, and others are considered no fault evictions, like when an owner decides to move into a unit. the san francisco just cause eviction scheme was carefully crafted to protect rent control units in this city which is san francisco's rent control units are san francisco's largest source of housing that is not vulnerable to the whims of the market. buyouts are a loophole because they allow landlords to aloe v-8 an official eviction by offering a tenant a monetary sum to vacate a unit without having to go through the
eviction process and assert one of the 15 just causes of eviction. we know that protecting the rent control housing stock in san francisco is a major component of addressing san francisco's housing crisis. in fact, rent control units compose more than 50% of the city's price control housing. given that efforts to amend the ellis act in sacramento have failed, we must continue to act locally to develop and pass legislation to protect renters in san francisco. like ted, i believe that regulating buyout is a critical way that can -- that allows us to act locally to address this crisis. while we do not know the exact prevalence of buyouts, tenant and advocates have reported and actually the budget and legislative analyst included this in his report that for every ellis act eviction there are a number, perhaps as many as 7 buy outs that take place.
more over, ~ as the report that was released by the budget and legislative analyst shows, there ha been a significant increase that essentially proves the point. between calendar years 2009 and 2013, we went from having, based on [speaker not understood] done with thea community based organizationses, 76 clients who were involved in a buyout in 2009, and then 179 in 2013. the legislation that you're voting on today strikes the right balance. it requires landlords to provide tenants with a disclosure of a tenant's rights before the landlord commences buyout negotiations. and at the time that the buyout agreement is reduced to writing. it requires all buyout agreements to be in writing and allows a tenant to rescind a buyout for up to 45 days after he or she signs an agreement.
oftentimes when a landlord offers a tenant a buyout there is an imbalance in negotiating power between the leant lord and the tenant. this is especially the case where tenants have limited english skills. i have heard many stories of a tenant accepting a tiny buyout offer to vacate the unit. a buyout offer thats was substantially less than the relocation assistance that the tenant would have received if evicted under the ellis act. or under the owner move-in no fault just cause eviction grounds. by requiring the landlord to provide the tenant information about his or her rights before commencing discussions regarding a buyout offer, the tenant will have the time and resource he to be fully educated about his or her rights when negotiating with the landlord. i hope that this provision will help balance out some of the inequities that occur with buyouts as they presently exist. often higher incomev tenants
acknowledge their rights are able to negotiate large buyouts while lower income tenants leave rent control units without a meaningful relocation assistance. this legislation also requires landlords to file a copy of the buyout agreement with the rent board and requires that the rent board make those agreements publicly available on a searchable database to buyout agreements -- buyout agreements. it also requires the rent board to report to the board of supervisors on the frequency and nature of buyouts. by requiring the registration of buyout, we will finally in the city have the data to fully understand the level of displacement that is happening in san francisco. this legislation also imposes the same condo conversion prohibitions that are already in place for other no-fault evictions. this provision will help san francisco's rent control housing stock by preventing landlord from converting condo rental units after a buyout in the same manner the landlord is
prevented from condo converting after a no-fault eviction. this means that a landlord would be unable to condo convert for ten years if he he or she ha made multiple buyouts in the same building and will not be able to condo convert at any time if he or she makes a single buyout to senior, disabled or catastrophically ill tenant. finally, the legislation allows tenants, nonprofit c-3s or c4s [speaker not understood] or the san francisco city attorney's office to enforce provisions of the law in california superior court. in the original version of the legislation, we were actually going to have the rent borden force the provisions of the law. but after speaking to the director of the rent board we did not feel that the agency has the resource he, the capacity at this point to actually play that role. today i'm making one small amendment to this ordinance, to accommodate the very reasonable request from supervisor norman yee.
i agree that landlords should have more time to file a buyout agreement. i would like to amend the ordinance to give landlords a two-week window to file the agreement after the agreement is final and that amendment is, by the way, on page 7 of the legislation on line 10. with that, i ask that you join me in supporting this law. and again, i want to thank ted gal ogg son for being the inspiration for this piece of legislation, for his guidance, for his ~ passion and for never giving up on his effort to protect tenants in san francisco. so, with that i make a motion to amend along the lines that i described. >> supervisor campos has made the amendments that he's described. is there a second to the amendments? seconded by supervisor kim. colleagues, any discussion to the amendments? okay, without discussion those amendments are adopted. supervisor cohen. >> thank you very much. i think that for some accepting the buyout might be the right decision.
for individuals and their respective family. i think this legislation does a good job of not precluding that. my primary concern with tenant buyout agreement is it's an unequal barringing position that the parties often are in. now, while some tenants may be sophisticated about this process, not everyone understands the complicated regulatory framework. i'm not one of those individuals who believe that all buyouts are bad, but i do believe that we he need more transparency in this area. i don't think that it's unreasonable to know which buildings have buyout agreements or to give tenants an opportunity to understand their rights and make the best decisions for them self-and their families whether or not to accept a buyout, which is the reasons why i'm going to be supporting this legislation today. >> supervisor farrell. >> thank you, president chiu. colleagues, i did not support this legislation at committee last week and won't be supporting it today.
two becky quick comments on it. and i appreciate we have differences of opinions on this one. first of all, i think i do have a fundamental -- buyouts are bad thing here in the city of san francisco. i know many tenants, many low-income tenants as well who have taken the proceeds of their buyouts, one because they were leaving town anyways. two, taking them a down payments for their own homeownership opportunities here in san francisco. so, i personally do not subscribe to the idea that all buyout should be treating this class of priority agreements as evil, if you will, here in the city of san francisco. i certainly do not subscribe to any of the abuse he that have anecdotally been talked about, coercion and intimidation [speaker not understood]. i think it is a statement against buyouts swore networkly. secondly, as someone who introduced condo conversion legislation a few years ago,
including the prohibition on condo conversions in buildings where there have been buyouts as well just because there was a buyout, again, from my perspective makes no sense at all. so those two reasons i will not be supporting it today. >> supervisor breed. >> thank you. i like some of my colleagues here, i don't agree with the premise that all buyouts are necessarily bad. some may be problematic, some may not. the mere fact that a tenant and the landlord agree to a cash transaction does not mean any harm has been done. in fact, i think you can make a strong argument that in the vast majority of cases two informed consenting parties are engaging in a private transaction. and the government does not need to tell them what is best for them. i have support and had introduced many measures to protect tenants and preserve rental housing. if buyouts are happening under an ellis act eviction, let's keep reforming ellis act and discourage its use. to the extent some tenants are agreeing to buyouts without
consulting a tenants rights counselor or knowing their rights, i am happy to improve notification and access to counselor. i am comfortable with that element of the legislation, but i can't imagine how the government would ever give one party in any agreement the sole right to rescind an agreement 45 days after they sign it. how can anyone plan around that in position? and what is the implication of us telling people we need to protect them from their own decisions? i also don't understand why the landlord and tenant need to disclose their private negotiations about their homes to the city and then have that information be publicly available. and if you do not file the form on time, the city and others can sue you for $100 a day plus attorney fees. as supervisor campos said about the soda tax, there is an element to all of this that seems just a bit big brotherish to me. if we want to gather information to under buyouts we could ask the budget and
legislative analyst, planning department or [speaker not understood] to hire a third-party research firm. this legislation, on the other hand, is an approach that i definitely do not agree with. so, i won't be supporting it today. thank you. >> supervisor wiener. >> thank you, mr. president. when i first heard about the concept of this legislation, i was very open to it. but then the more i learned about it the more concerns i had. i will not be supporting it today. i think the intention underlying this legislation is very good and it's an intention that i support. we know that there are abusive buyouts. i think it's unquestionable and we all know people or met people who have been the subject of either successful or unsuccessful abusive buyouts. but this legislation goes well beyond that and i agree with supervisor cohen and with supervisor farrell that the core challenge is that this
basically makes it the law that all buyouts are deemed to be abusive. every single one, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the situation, all buyout are deemed to be abusive, are deemed to be the equivalent of evictions. and that is just not factual. that is not reality. some are, some aren't, but this sweeps them all in. i have been a supporter of anti-displacement measures. i supported -- i voted for supervisor campos' increase to the ellis act relocation payments. that was not a unanimous vote at his board. i supported it because it was the right thing to do. but this legislation, it just goes too far. i want to be clear, this is not just about disclosure. this is not just about transparency so that we can collect data on buyout. if it will limited to simple data collection, that's
something that i would be certainly open to. what this does it just says if you do a buyout, we're going to ban you from entering the condo lottery. some time permanently. so, even if you engage in a buyout that is not abusive, you are now going to be banned from the lottery for a long period of time or forever. it's basically saying if you do a buyout, no matter what the buyout is, we're going to treat you essentially as if it were an ellis act eviction in many respects. what this legislation i fear will do is it will encourage landlords instead of trying to do a buyout to actually engage in evictions. we'll see more owner move-in evictions, more ellis act evictions. and because what is excluded from the definition of a buyout is a settlement in litigation. we'll see more of a tendency simply to do -- enter into unlawful detainer eviction
lawsuits because if you pay out the settlement there, it's not considered a buyout any more. and, so, again, this legislation i think has very good intentions behind it. but because it is i think an overly blunt instrument that sweeps all buyouts into the category of abusive buyouts, i think it goes too far and i won't be supporting it today. >> supervisor tang. >> thank you. i do also agree with many of the comments that were made by colleagues and of course want to thank supervisor campos for bringing forth a piece of legislation that really does try i think in its goal to address some of the issues of tenants and really about certainty. as a ten apt myself, believe me, i'd be the first to say i would love to have certainty in the place that i live and i would want to support policies that also support that. but i think that we also have to approach measures with balance. so, i agree that buyouts are not always just trying to simply evade eviction process.
i think sometimes it's actually what tenants do prefer. as supervisor farrell mentioned, some actually use that money and turn around and are able to actually put down a down payment for homes. i believe that the notification of rights for tenants is something that's absolutely i think we all support and i would agree with that. however, disclosing all the particular details as supervisor breed mentioned will change the nature of poe he tension negotiations. there are some thing i agree with, some i don't. overall, supervisor wiener also mentioned we're going to see potential evictions or whatnot go in a different form that may be something we actually all don't support. so, with that said, i am not able to support this measure today. >> supervisor mar. >> thank you. i know at the budget committee we heard testimony from many of the leaders and members of the tenant movement. and i wanted to thank
supervisor campos for carrying this, but also supervisors avalos and kim for co-sponsoring as well. i wanted to say that the stories of tenant harassment and unfair bargaining power of tenants versus their landlord far outweighed the positive stories of some positive buyout as supervisor farrell mentioned or some from the real estate industry told about positive stories. but i think the displacement crisis and the housing affordability crisis is what's before us. i think this is really well put together legislation that will help address the tip of the iceberg that the ellis act and other evictions we saw from the budget analyst report push poor people and even middle income people by affluent people and more affluent big businesses as well. i think the story of displacement are what i'm continuing to hear the voices of people that have been saying
there's not even a tracking of the types of buyouts that are going on. it's a tip of the iceberg below the surface. and i wanted to say for each of the few positive stories of a buyout experience where somebody may have had enough income to put a down payment, though it's hard for me to imagine that given the housing market right now. i wanted to say that the negative stories made me think about the unequal bargaining power of a tenant, especially a low-income senior that's being pushed out and harassment and other factors that landlords have used from the stories that i've heard, it's the equivalent of negotiating with your landlord with a gunpointed toward your head often. and i think that's more the stories i've heard from my neighborhood and other neighborhoods in the city. so, i'm going to be supporting this proudly with ted gul acson and others in mind and i urge my colleagues to consider that context of displacement going on a we consider legislation like this ~. >> supervisor campos. >> thank you, mr. president. i simply want to note that i
appreciate the comments that my colleagues have made and i just want to be very clear that in looking at the issue buyout, even though there were some people who suggested is there a way that you can just prevent buyout from happening all together? that's not what this legislation does. this is really about striking a balance that people have a right to enter these agreements, but it's simply regulating those agreements. i think that's the intent behind this. i know that for the folks who have been doing this kind of work it's great that the board has done -- taken action to address the issue of evictions, but a ted gul acson would note, there are a number of buyout that happen. if we are really looking at displacement, looking at buyouts is an important part of the equation.
thank you. >> supervisor avalos. >> thank you. i just want to thank supervisor campos for bringing this legislation forward. we have not created enough tools to address the housing crisis in san francisco, the plight that tenants face. i agree there are many people who are offered buyouts who don't have the ability to say no, who don't have the ability to negotiate. there is a great power difference. i have met many more people who have been forced to do buyouts than people who have actually saw opportunity in a buyout where they could actually buy property. that to me is more of a smith or more of a very small fraction of the people who are actually involved in buyouts from a tenant point of view. so, i'm proud to volt yes in
favor of this legislation and i think it's a small finger we can put in the dike of all the many ways that people are forced to live in san francisco with a lot of fear about whether their next conversation with their property owner, their landlord is going to be one offering them the exit pass to some other part of the bay area. ~ vote >> supervisor kim. >> thank you. also really proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation. as supervisor campos has already laid out, we know that there are numerous, in fact, countless evictions that take place in the city that aren't on record with the rent board simply because there is a buyout. sometimes often done in a way that's intimidating or the residents, the tenants are not empowered to know what their rights are and accept the agreement thinking that is the right deal. i think this legislation moves us ahead and actually
formalizing how that process happens between landlords and tenants. and now the city will actually be able to collect the data on the number of buyouts that we have here. and while it's true that not all buyouts are the same, it's i think incredible for the city to be able to gather the data on the number of buyouts that we're currently seeing in this very seat of real estate market in the city. i know we'll be speaking about ted gul acson during our roll call, but thises was the very last piece of legislation that he personally came into my office to ask me to co-sponsor. and i just want to thank him for his work on this legislation and just always for decades tirelessly fighting to make sure that we are strengthening the city on behalf of our tenants. they cannot only afford to live here, but have the right to live here. >> any further discussion? madam clerk, let's take the roll. >> on item 11 as amended,